Today is World AIDS Day. AIDS is a horrible, deadly disease. You’ll find info about it on news websites all over.
But here is a story I found yesterday, “GOP Reps blast Smithsonian Exhibit Exhibit Featuring Ant-Covered Jesus on Cross.” Conservatives are angry that tax dollars are disrespecting Christianity. The shocking exhibit was apparently meant to draw attention to the plight of AIDS victims. Again, I’ll leave the political debate to others, but what about Jesus and the AIDS victims themselves?
The co-curator of the art, David Ward, says, “That it is violent, disturbing, and hallucinatory precisely replicates the impact of the disease itself on people and a society that could barely comprehend its magnitude.” Is Ward willing dishonor to Jesus in order to bring attention to the pain of people with AIDS?
If so, this is a common attitude among secular advocates. They care more about AIDS victims than they do about Jesus. Is it bad to care about AIDS victims? No, not at all, it’s what Jesus would want. But not more than about Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is the AIDS victim’s only hope, the artist’s only hope, mine and the world’s only hope. His crucifixion was to save them. And more, as important as we are as human beings, God is more important. He is the Maker, the Sovereign of the cosmos, the Holy One. And Christ is the Essence of God in a human form.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him…. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Col. 1.15-16, 19-20).
In this exhibit though, they crucified Jesus again, mocking Him just like those in 33 CE. If Christ were here today, people would crucify Him again. But even as they do, Christ loves them. Jesus prayed for His crucifiers as they nailed Him to the cross, He died for their sins and calls on them to come to Him for salvation from their destructive ways. But nobody listens. They just keep crucifying Him, negating the reason He came to die and replacing it with their own hopeless dead-ends and disgusting injustice. If only they would turn to Him before it’s too late.
But Christ is sovereign. He’s not wringing His hands helpless. He stands above these cheap attacks against Him and pseudo-compassion for His victimized creation. There is a day in the future when all injustice will be set right. The crucified Savior will be King. And all the suffers who’ve looked to Him will be freed and live with Him forever. Haste the day.